One year changed everything (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
What if the entire NFL was entering the 2012 draft, how would teams build and what positions would they select? Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports and I have gotten into several heated exchanges, but ultimately I respect that he's willing to stand by his feelings and debate, unlike many other writers.
Today Silver tore down all 32 teams and rebuilt them in a first round mock draft, and while Aaron Rodgers was the #1 pick to the Colts, our own Cam Newton wasn't far behind.
2. St. Louis Rams - Cam Newton, QB: Jeff Fisher's most fulfilling years as a head coach came in tandem with the late, great Steve McNair - a big-bodied, athletic quarterback who developed into a savvy field general. Newton, coming off a record-setting rookie season, looks like McNair 2.0, and the kid is just getting started.
It's high praise to have Newton leave the board before Superbowl winners like Eli Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees- or even elite passers like Matthew Stafford, but I'm sure none of us are arguing. In all the comparisons that have been made to Newton I think we tend to overlook McNair. Sure, he wasn't as large or physically intimidating, but early in his career he ran the ball more than we might think (101 times his first season as a starter).
Both Newton and McNair entered the league at the age of 22, but what's scary is that the McNair went to three pro-bowls during his illustrious career, and thew for at most 3,300 yards in a year. Newton has already made one probowl and thrown for over 4,000... pinch me.
The Panthers pick after the jump
9. Carolina Panthers - Ben Roethlisberger, QB: Having had so much success with Newton in 2011, coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney don't hesitate to go after the older, more polished version.
Not much arguing from me. If the supposition is that the remaining 52 stay the same minus Newton then we'd need a QB with a similar skill set. Unfortunately Carolina would need to address the QB position again in a few years, but that's a suitable price to pay.
Frivolous fun on a Thursday night? Sure... but it beats talking about the same five players we're slated to get in 2012 again.